Seven Points of Apostolic Guidance on Making Major Doctrinal Decisions

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daily text logoAugust 28, 2014

Acts 15:5-11 (in context)

Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”

The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart,showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

CONSIDER THIS

1. Set a clearly defined agenda for the meeting: The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.

2. Get all the decision makers in the room. The apostles and elders met to consider this question.

3. Thrash the issue thoroughly on the front end, else the decision will come unraveled on the back end. After much discussion,

4. Give room for leadership to emerge. Peter got up and addressed them:

5. Rehearse the history and recount the established precedent set by the primary authority: the Word of God. Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.

6. Sift human experience by the Word of God. (Never allow the Word of God to be sifted by human experience). God, who knows the human heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us.

7. Appeal to sound theological reasoning: Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” DailyText 8-28-14

COME HOLY SPIRIT!

J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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